Italian proggers Althea are set to release their new album titled “Memories Have No Name” in January. The band spoke for Progarchy about the new material.
What made you go for the name Althea?
This is an old and very random story. You have to know that we are very bad at naming things and before coming up with the name Althea we played under a number of fancy fantasy names. At some point, we decided we needed to set a proper name for the band and we simply opened an English dictionary and the first word we picked up was Althea. We liked it and we named the band that way. It was very random and only after we realized the meaning behind the name (Althea is a Greek goddess).
How do you usually describe your music?
A fusion of different genres characterized by melodic and aggressive sounds. Starting from more traditional progressive metal and rock we have evolved our own style to a kind of post progressive sound where we fuse heavy modern riff with synth arrangements and melodic vocal lines, focusing more on emotions than on technical passages. Tracks typically explores introspective moods
What is your writing process like?
We usually start from a quite complete demo of a song and then work on arrangements and vocals. Typically, I (Dario, guitarist) write down the music and structure of the song and then we work on the melody and arrangements.
Who or what is your inspiration, if you have any?
Being 5 people with a very different background, We all have different music tastes and influences that vary from industrial music to extreme metal, from pop music to more standard hard rock. Personally, I’m a big fan of ambient, electronic and industrial music, while Alessio (vocals) has always been a huge fan of Queen.
Of course we do have a common ground, to be easily found in Porcupine Tree/Steven Wilson, Pink Floyd, Rush, Anathema, Queensyche, Fates Warning etc. In particular, Sergio (Drums) is a Fates Warning huge fan (especially the Mark Zonder era), from which he took a lot of his drumming and love for complex and syncopated fills.
What is your favourite piece on the “Memories Have No Name” album and why?
This is not an easy question (laughs)! All of us have different favorite pieces. For example, Sergio favorite is Revenge, a great fusion of solid riffs, melodic sounds and uptime fills; Alessio’s is probably Take me as i am, a mix of feelings and images, where rhythm guitars and voices guides you up and down as in a rollercoaster ride.
Personally, I see MHNN as a single song and therefore, even if I have some favorite sections, I would definitely go for the whole thing!
What makes “Memories Have No Name” different?
I think the approach to the album is quite different from a big portion of the modern wave of Progressive Metal, which too often tends to be repetitive and progressive only on the technical side. MHNN includes a big variety of sounds, atmospheres and genres, all linked together by the story, as in a sort of journey. It’s more the story to drive the music choices than the other way around.
MHNN is a bit unconventional but still very accessible, there are a lot of melodic parts that will go straight from the ear directly to the heart.
What should music lovers expect from “Memories Have No Name”?
An experience more than only a record. MHNN is a journey to be enjoyed at its best in its full entirety. Music, words and melodies follow a specific concept still giving enough space to the listener’s imagination.
What kind of emotions would you like your audience to feel when they listen to your music?
Well, actually each listener may react in different ways and with different emotions. And it also depends on the attitude of the listener. Listening to the full album in a row, as it was conceived and written could lead to complete different feelings than skipping randomly from one track to the other.
Also, the sound complexity of MHNN might not be immediate and we hope that everyone could find something new after every listening.
Which do you like most, life in the studio or on tour?
We think life in studio and on tour are very different but they are both a very important side of the same story. Being introvert, I personally enjoy a lot life in studio, even if, of course, playing live is the main experience for every musician, and it’s way more relaxing than the recording session.
Pick your three favourite albums that you would take on a desert island with you.
Pink Floyd – The Wall
Steven Wilson- Hands cannot erase
Fates Warning – A Pleasant Shade of Gray
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